When it comes to business analytics software, analysts say do believe the hype, as the market is expected to grow to $50.7 billion in 2016.
According to market research firm IDC, the business analytics software market grew by 14.1 percent in 2011 and will continue to grow at a 9.8 percent annual rate, to reach $50.7 billion in 2016, driven by the focus on big data.
Indeed, helping drive the growth in spending on business analytics is the media attention focused on big data, putting broader business analytics on the agenda of more senior executives, IDC said in its "Worldwide Business Analytics Software 20122016 Forecast and 2011 Vendor Shares" report.
Additionally, new business analytics software options based on nonrelational data management technology are forcing all vendors to accelerate R&D efforts and acquisitions focused on new tools and applications and the integration of new and existing technologies.
"Driven by the attention-grabbing headlines for big data, and more than three decades of evolutionary and revolutionary developments in technology and best practices, the business analytics software market has crossed the chasm into the mainstream mass market," Dan Vesset, program vice president for IDC's Business Analytics Solutions unit, said in a statement. "The demand for business analytics solutions is exposing the previously minor issue of the shortage of highly skilled IT and analytics staff."
Of the three primary segments of the worldwide business analytics software market, the data warehousing platform software segment grew the fastest in 2011 at 15.2 percent year-over-year, followed by the analytic applications segment, which grew at 13.3 percent, and the business intelligence and analytic tools segment, which grew at 13.2 percent.
Additional key findings from IDC's research include that as more organizations with less business analytics experience are becoming interested in this technology, vendors and users will have to devote more resources to business analytics services.
Also, IDC projects that a growing emphasis on industry and business processspecific analytic applications will take hold over the forecast period. This will be a long-term trend that is likely going to accelerate merger and acquisition activity in the business analytics market, IDC said. Recent acquisitions by large business analytics vendors will require these vendors to execute go-to-market strategies that depend on ever finer segmentation of target audiences by industry, region and organization size, the research firm said.
Moreover, IDC said the growth in appliances, software as a service (SaaS), and outsourcing deals for business analytics technology will likely mean that end users will pay increasingly less attention to specific technology components, instead focusing on the business value arguments and overall functionality. System performance, availability, security and manageability will all matter greatly, but how they are achieved will be less of a point for differentiation among vendors, said IDC.
IBM has been one of the most active vendors in the business analytics and big data spaces. In the last five years, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in acquisitions. With investments in SPSS, Clarity, OpenPages, i2 and Algorithmics, as well as others, IBM is building business analytics solutions providing clients with capabilities for managing fraud, risk and threat. In addition, IBM has assembled almost 9,000 dedicated analytics consultants with industry expertise, and created a network of eight global analytics solution centers.
IBM's big data platform is based on open-source Apache Hadoop. The platform makes it easier for data-intensive applications to manage and analyze petabytes of big data by providing clients with an integrated approach to analytics, helping them turn information into insights for improved business outcomes.
IBM is expanding its big data platform to run on other distributions of Hadoop, beginning with Cloudera. Cloudera is a top contributor to the Hadoop development community, and an early provider of Hadoop-based systems to clients across a broad range of industries, including financial services, government, telecommunications, media, retail, energy and health care. As a result, Cloudera Hadoop clients can now take advantage of IBM's big data platform to perform complex analytics and build a new generation of software applications.
IBM has the industry's broadest portfolio of big data capabilities with software, hardware, services and innovations developed by IBM Research such as the Watson system. More than 100 IBM business partners have adopted IBM's big data platform, bringing a new class of solutions to market and extending the reach of IBM analytics offerings for clients.